Ryan Collerd

Julian Talamantez Brolaski Finds Healing on Gentle 'It's Okay Honey' [Premiere]


Americana singer-songwriter Julian Talamantez Brolaski finds comfort in "It's Okay Honey,"  a soothing lullaby for the soul from their forthcoming album of the same name (due out Aug. 4).

It's Okay Honey is a 12-song project that weaves together classic country storytelling and innovative lyricism and showcases Brolaski's point of view as a trans, non-binary poet of Mescalero and Lipan Apache, Latinx and European heritage.

Listen to "It's Okay Honey" below.


Below, Brolaski shares the inspiration behind the song.

What is the story behind this song? How did you come to write it? 

 This is a medicine song I made to heal myself and others, a song of solace. After I was in a bike accident in 2019, I was in a lot of physical pain for a few years. My physical therapist said to me, "Talk to your cells, comfort them." And the phrase I thought of was, "It's okay, honey," like talking directly to my body, and its intelligence to heal itself. It actually really helped. "It's okay honey, it's okay honey" I would repeat to myself, and eventually a melody drifted into the phrase, and the song started to unspool itself.  I played the song a lot over Zoom for friends during the pandemic, and they said it helped them, too. So the medicine started to move outward, outside of myself.   

   What was the songwriting process like--musically and lyrically? 

 I started doing a lot of stargazing during lockdown, trying to learn about the stars, constellations, and planets. There wasn't much going on--the stars were the best show in town. I learned how Venus goes from being the evening star to the morning star. One night, my sweetheart and I went out to witness that transition--to say goodbye to Venus for a while, before it reemerged as the morning star, and I wrote these lines: "Venus will dim the brim of the horizon / Following the sun, and reappearing in the morning / And we witnessed it happening." The song is also a love song. I wanted to reinvigorate some of those very ancient metaphors for love, like, "I'll love you till the stars fall from the sky," but using a slightly different phrasing, like: "And not till the rivers run backward / And not till Polaris turns southward / And not till the snow inundates hell / Will anyone say I didn't love you well." So it takes those old tropes and kind of revises them, also incorporating some star knowledge.  

 Were you going for a specific vibe on this song??Did it turn out like you originally imagined it might? 

 Well, there's a sad, waltz feel to the song, and yet the overall message is positive. I like that contrast. I wanted lots of crying steel on the song, just a real classic country waltz you could slow dance to. I love the combination of David Laganella's electric guitar and Mike "Slo-Mo" Brenner's steel guitar. Boaz Kim also plays a bass harmonica on this song, which gives it a really cool, deep undertone.   

 What do you think this song's message is? 

 The song is my version of that old adage, "This too shall pass." It says don't worry, the world will still turn, things are always passing and changing. It's a love song too, so it's also saying that all the while the world turns, I'll still love you.   

 What made you name the album after this song? Is this song a centerpiece for the album, or do the lyrics tie in to the overall theme of the album? 

 I think this title is a statement of comfort and of solace, and that's a feeling that applies to the whole album.   

 What's on tap for you after this single comes out? 

There's another single coming out on May 19th, and the album, It's Okay Honey, comes out August 4th.    

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